Volunteer Driver Q&A: Stan Wubben, Central Community Transit
Stan Wubben became a volunteer driver for Central Community Transit (CCT) several years ago. From his home base in Willmar, Minnesota, Wubben drives community members to medical appointments and to other destinations. As a farmer, Wubben is often needed in the field. He receives requests for driving services from CCT and agrees to those that work with his schedule. Below, Wubben answers some questions about his volunteer driver experience.
Q: How did you learn about volunteer driving opportunities?
A: My cousin needed a ride to the airport, and I asked how he was getting there. He said he called Central Community Transit, and they were able to send someone to drive him there and pick him back up when he returned. I heard they were looking for drivers.
Q: Why did you decide to become a volunteer driver?
A: I don’t mind driving, and if I can help someone else out, I’m happy to do that when it works for me. I thought someday I may want to be able to get a ride to a doctor’s appointment, and helping someone now pays it forward.
Q: What do you like about volunteer driving?
A: For me, it’s the flexibility. When I am working on the farm, I know I can say no when they call asking if I can drive someone. And I don’t mind driving. You really meet interesting people along the way.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience as a volunteer driver?
A: One time I was supposed to pick up someone at a healthcare facility, but I found them in someone else’s car! I see different age groups with different needs. Elderly passengers are usually very appreciative.
Q: Why do you continue to volunteer?
A: I am 76 years old, and I want to do it as long as I can. I still feel healthy, and I like to stay active. I like the flexible hours – you can take a job when you are able. I don’t do the short drives. We are in a rural area; St. Cloud is about 60 miles away, the Twin Cities 100 miles away. I primarily pick up people in Willmar and take them to St. Cloud or the Twin Cities. I like the longer trips. You do get compensated for gas and food costs.
Q: What advice do you have for volunteer driver programs?
A: Reimbursement for expenses like gas and food is important to volunteer drivers, and it’s good to spell out what you need for compensation.
Q: What advice do you have to prospective volunteers?
A: If you like to drive, it’s a good fit. You have some interesting conversations with people, and this is an opportunity to encourage people as well.